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The idea of the Espace Cubase Dictionnary simply came because of the questions and answers we saw on the mailing lists. The subscribers share their knowledge...


Our little lexicon

  •      A/NDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Abbreviation of Analog / Numerical. Concerns any conversion from an analog sound to a numerical one.
  •      ADATDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Alesis Digital Audio Tape. Norm created by the firm Alesiss. It is a digital interface format which can manage 8 audio channels (16 ADAT recorder can be chained). The recording is done on S-VHS video tape at the resolution of 20bits and 48kHz. This recording format has become a standard in many professional structure and even in some home-studios.
  •      AFLDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    After Fade Listen. On a mixing board, it is a solo listening or a auxiliary send after the volume fader. It is synonymous to "effect send". It is used to put the sound which is passing through the mixing board channel in an effect unit, allowing to set the effect in level. It can also be used as a monitoring out, but if the level of your tracks is modified when a singer is recording his part, he may turn crazy because he will hear all you are doing. In that case, it is better to use a Pre Fader Listen.
  •      ALGORITHMDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    In maths (so in computing too), it is the process which enbles to solve a problem by organizing the succession of basic operations. That is what is done by a computer processor. It only knows how to reproduce algorithms (succession of additions and subtractions...). But it does this so quickly he can solve extremely complex problems. As far as music is concerned, when effects are used (guitare multi-effects for example), the algorithm is the organization and the order of the different treatments in a program. For instance, a multi-effect won't calculate a reverb in the same way depending it is before or after any other effect.
  •      ANALOGDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Said of a sound as it is in the real, characterized by an infinity of vales representing it, contrary to a numerical sound which takes a single value off and on.
  •      ASIODefinition given by Arnaud LE BOULANGER :

    That means Audio Stream In/Out. It is a protocol invented by Steinberg when Cubase 3.0 was released, to enable this new program to communicate with soundcards which had the necessary drivers (ASIO driver). The principle is the same for Mac and PC. Without ASIO, Cubase must use the system ressources (for instance on Mac, with the standard soundcard, the MacOS Sound Manager) to be able to send something to or receive something from the card. With ASIO, the dialog is directly done, without using the system.

    As anyone knows, shortcuts are done to gain time... In the "real life" it is not necessary the case, but with ASIO... It works! As Cubase (in fact the computer processor) gained time, well, it has more time for your effects, eq, etc... Life is sweet, isn't it ?
  •      AUTOMATIONDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    On a mixing board (analog or numerical, hardware or software), this process allows to memorize all what is done on the machine: faders movements, pans, effects levels... Then, when the song is played, the recorded operations are automatically done in real time. Automation is the ideal tool to perfect a mix.
  •      AUXILIARYDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Additional circuit which is present on mixing boards, it can help in many ways. Most of the time it is used as an effect loop. Each channel can be treated by the same effect processor, setting the send and the return. It can also be used to plug a source which doesn't need particular settings (using only the Aux return). When the signal is taken before the level fader, this circuit is called "Monitor". When it is taken after, it is called "Effects" (FX). It has a "Send" and a "Return".
  •      BANDWIDTHDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    It is all the frequencies (bass, medium, treeble) included between two extreme frequencies which can be reproduced or generated by a machine. For instance, if a speaker has a bandwidth from 15Hz to 22kHz, it would be able to reproduce all the frequencies between these two limits (if the amplifier can produce the same bandwidth). "Bandwidth" also desifgns the capacity for a telecommunication network to transfer data. It is given in bits/second. For instance, the ADSL network has a theoric bandwidth of 1024kbits/second. In a general way, the bandwidth represents the capacity for an electronic component to transfer a maximum volume of data per second (for example, the memory bandwidth). One synonymous in this context is the "debit". If we are trying to reduce the debit of an audio file by compressing it, we also reduce the bandwidth, so the sound is less good.
  •      BOUNCINGDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Pre-mixing several voices already recorded to reduce them to one or two tracks. On the "old" 4-tracks tape-recorder, this operation (also called "ping-pong") enables to free up some tracks on order to record new ones (we "bounce" the tracks 1, 2 and 3 on the track 4 to record new ones). The problem on these analog tools is the loss of sound (especially in treeble) that follows the operation. Thanks to present audionumerical tools, we can do as many bouncing as we want without losing quality. The operation is useful on little powerful computers, because it enables to play less audio tracks in the same time (by pre-mixing the drums elements for example).
  •      BUSDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    A bus can refer to two rather different things. On a mixing board, a bus gathers all the signals routed to a same destination: stereo out bus, effects bus, auxiliary bus... On an electronic card, it is a link constituted by a series of lines (physical thread) which links the elements of a computer (memory, processor, co-processor, chipset, extension cards...). There are three types of computer bus: data bus, address bus, command bus.
  •      BYTEDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Measure unt for the memory capacity. One byte equals eight bits of data, that is to say it can get 256 different values (2^8). You have to be careful when you are talking of Kilo-bytes. One kB does not equals 1000 bytes, but 1024 (2^10). In the same way, one MB does not equal 1 million bytes but 1048576 (2^20), and one GB equals 1073741824 bytes (2^30). Generally, these values are rounded, but it is good to know ;-)
  •      CHIPSETDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Oon a computer mother board, it is a circuit which seconds the porcessor by undertaking to do tasks which are not calculation, as the management of the different in/out bus (memory, PCI, AGP...), the management of hard drives, the power supply... It is actually almost as important as the CPU, because the quality of a configuration very depends on this component. If it is badly built, your machine won't function well, even with a very big processor.
  •      CLIPPINGDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    It is the distortion of a signal, represented by a signal level above 0dB. In an analog machine, the sound is distorted, but it remains listenable to a certain extent, whereas in a numerical machine, everything above 0dB is purely cut. So in this context, clipping has to be avoided.
  •      CLUSTERDefinition given by Régis LAMORA :

    A cluster is a stack of several notes (an aggregate), away from one or a half key. It appeared in the beginning of the 20th century, I think in the free atonality period, even before the serialism (although it can certainly be found in a "sturm und drang" piece). So the cluster has no determined tonal function, but we can found it: C9#11 played Bb-C-D-E-F# for example... I think these are ot really clusters in Monk's, but simply dispositions which mix several tensions in a restricted interval.
  •      COMPUTERDefinition given by Kempfred :

    Machine which comes in by the door and comes out by the window.
  •      CPUDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Central Processing Unit. It is your computer processor.
  •      DACDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    igital to Analog Converter. Electronic component which will decode numerical information (0 and 1) contained in a hard drive or in a memory, to transform them in electrical impulse which will be decoded by an amplifier (for example). It is the opposite of the ADC.
  •      DC OFFSETDefinition given by Vincent BUREL :

    I think it is the shifting between the curve of the sound and its zero... The DC Offset has to be as next to zero as possible... (which is generally the case). Mathematically, we shift the curve thanks to a simple vertical translation by adding to each sample a positive or negative value, which actually corresponds to the adding of a continuous signal C(t) on the signal S(t). If the signal is expressed as C(t)+S(t) where "t" is the time, then C(t) would represent the DC Offset... to be confirmed, as I am not sure.
  •      DI BOXDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Small electronic box (Direct In Box) which enables by adapting the in/out levels and impedance to plug a bass or an electric guitare directly in a mixing board, with no loss of signal nor degradation of the mixing board channel components. This configuration is interesting to have clean sounds, because then we can add the possible effects in the auxiliary circuits of the mixing board (compressor for the bass, reverbs and delay for the guitare).
  •      DITHERDefinition given by Arnaud LE BOULANGER :

    When, for example, a signal is recorded on 24bits, and it has to be reduced to 16bits (to burn it on a CD for example), we can do it in different ways, the simplest is to suppress the last 8 bits (24-8=16). But, by doing this, we lose all the signal part which was inferior to -96dB in relation to the maximum possible amplitude (-96dBFS - indeed 16bits allow a maximum dynamic of 96dB: 6dB x 16 = 96dB).

    Pragmatic people will say that it is not important, that because of the background noise we cannot hear anything below -96dB... But it is less and less certain, thanks to the increasing quality of audio equipments. Moreover, opinions diverge about the ability of the human ear to hear signals drowned in background noise (the restaurant syndrome: if we prick up our ears, we can understand the next table conversation, even if the background noise is louder and covers it). In short, purists don't like to lose signal, even at -96dB, and there is the use of the "dither".

    To keep a part of the signal below -96dB when it is cut, the "dither" technics consists (paradoxically) in adding to the 24bits signal a very low amplitude random noise, before cutting this signal to 16bits. This adds a little noise, but improves the final 16bits signal imression of clearness. Explaining in details how it works would be very long, I would say it has to do with the modulation of a signal by another signal. We can mention there are several types of noise which can be added (white noise, pink noise or brown noise), so there are several different types of "dither".

    I gave the example of a shift from 24 to 16bits, but it is true for the shift from a bigger to a smaller number of bits. The only thing which changes is the dynamic cutting threshold, linked to the smallest number of bits chosen (-96dB for 16bits, -48dB for 8bits, -144dB for 24bits, etc...).
  •      FADERDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Linear pots which are on a mixing board. They amplify or soften the sound which pass through the circuit. They are prefered to rotary pots because they are easier to manipulate and more precise. We can find virtual faders on the virtual mixing board of software such as Cubase or Logic
  •      FEEDBACKDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Consists in sending back in (differently measuring out depending on the effect we want) the out signal. It is used in the effects, especially for chorus and flangers. Feedback can also design the larsen effect. In that case, we will try to avoid it.
  •      FREQUENCYDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Electricity (or electronic) term which designs the number of times where an event repeats in a given period (generally in one second). The sampling frequency is the number of samples taken during a analog/digital conversion or reproduced during a digital/analog conversion. Frequency is expressed in Hz. Audio CDs sampling rate is of 44,100 Hz (44.1kHz), that is to say that the sound is cut 44,100 times in a second. The more high is the sample rate, the more the numerical sound (discontinuous by definition) will be close to the anaolg original sound (continuous by definition). We can also talk of frequency to define the height of a sound. The more a sound is high pitched, the more its frequency will be high. For example, the A in the phone has a frequency of 440 Hz.
  •      FULL DUPLEXDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Said of a machine which can do an operation and its reverse at the same time. Indeed, a soundcard will be Full Duplex if it can play and record at the same time. Most of the actual soundcards are. This enables to hear a playback (instruments already recorded) during the recording of a voice, for example.
  •      GAINDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    It corresponds to the amplification coefficient applied to a signal, and is expressed in dB. On a mixing board, it can be set thanks to the gain potentiometer often called "Trim level". It enables, once set, not to exceed a certain threshold even if the level fader is at its maximum. Indeed, the channel won't jump the lights.
  •      GROOVEDefinition given by Bernard COQUELET :

    The groove is the way an experimented musician will play a rhythm compared with the way it is written (or would be written). More exactly, we can speak of shifting - rather lowly - between thes two possibilities of execution.

    All this has given for many times expressions: play at the bottom of the beat, before the beat, which mean that the tendency (or the intent) to play before or after the beat.

    You just have to read old treatise on music - Karl ph E Bach, Mersenne, Kantz etc. - to notice that this notion of groove actually has to do with aesthetics and style, the groove of a jazz drummer being different from those of a 17th century harpsichordist; but we have to remember that even if the word groove comes from jazz, the musicians concern with this subject considerably exceeds our century.

    Let's take the simple case of a guitarist playing a series of chords in quavers in a 4/4 measure. There's a little chance that these quavers will be done as they would be done on a Quantize machine, and if we superpose the two ways of playing on a time scale, the shifting appears, expressed in milliseconds (we exclude the execution of someone who doesn't know how to pay eight quavers, because it is not groove but approximate). Computing has known for a long time how to analyze a groove, i.e. express it in as a clock. The problem is that the groove is an artistic element, that is to say human, and if the series of quavers has to be played during several measures, it will evolve depending on the harmonic context, the place in the song, the sound of the musician's instrument, and, in interaction with the groove of the other musicians. We can call that "collective" groove (Count Basie for example). This notion obviously exists for classical orchester... So we reach one of the basic problems of the MIDI, or, of you prefer, we are taking a photo of a bird flying, thinking it will make it fly.... :-)

    Let's add that when you play with yourself, frequent case of pure MIDI sequences, you must have a big share of groove to record drums - on a keyboard - and build with the bass other parts. We soon understand that the basic definition of the groove is worried. Despite the growing sequencers definition, the subject remains serious. And what about the drums CD-ROM??? Well, for those who already used them, even if the groove is obvious, we are confronted to the lack of interaction. Well, to sum up, the problem of the groove is the same on Digital Performer, Studio Vision, Logic etc :-)
  •      GROUPDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    On a mixing board (hardware or virtual), it is a special bus towards which we send several signals to gather them (we are talking of "pre-mix") to control them through a single command. Example... You record drums on eight tracks. After having mixed together all these elements, you think drums are a bit low compared to the other instruments. Rather than pushing up the level faders of the eight drums tracks (and destroying the balance between the elements of the drums (and the effects level if there are some)), you send each track towards a group, then you just have to set this group level fader to push up the level of the entire drums. Useful, isn't it? Moreover, if you want to put a little reverb on the entire drums, you just have to do it on the bus, rather than on each track of the drums.
  •      HALLDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Generic name for a reverb programm we can find on every reverb unit. This program gives to the sound a feeling of huge amplitude.
  •      HERTZDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Enables to measure a frequency, i.e. the number of repetitions of a period every seconds. Hz is used to measure the heighth of a sound. The more the frequency is high, the more the sound is high pitched. Hz is also used to measure the power of a processor (its frequency).
  •      IMPEDANCEDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Impedance corresponds to the resistance of an electric circuit in alternating current. It is expressed in Ohms. It is very important to check that the two machines we plug have the same impedance. For example, we cannot plug a synth (high out impedance, line level) in a microphone in (low in impedance, microphone level) under pain of a degradation of the signal. The reverse will produce a loss of the signal, so a very low sound level.
  •      INSERTDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Designs an effect circuit (most of the time), on a mixing board, which enables to put an effect processor between the channel in and out, exactly as if it was plugged between the guitar and the amplifier. What is the advantage if we can do it "for real"? Well, by doing like this, the effct processor remains near the console and the sound engineer, who can intervene on it without having to go on the scene with you or go to the cabin where you are recording !
  •      ISADefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Abbreviation of Industry Standard Architecture. It is a slot for ISA compatible extension cards (soundcards, modem..) which can be found on computer motherboards. It is rather long and black. It enables direct acces to the processor trhough the 16bits ISA bus. We cannot find it anymore on recent motherboads, because it has been replaced by the PCI slot (quicker). We cannot find anymore new soundcards at the ISA format.
  •      JUMPERDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    It is a little piece of metal (covered by plastic) which looks like an electric pod (like the pods of the speaker cable on car speaker). It is used to link two circuits on an electronic card, by closing this circuit to make it operational. We can find many of them on computer motherboards. On rather old cards, we used jumpers to set the functionning speed of the processor, by combining open circuits (without the jumper) and closed circuits (with the jumper). Fewer and fewer motherboards use this process. Settings are now done through software. We can also find jumpers at the back of hard drives, they determine if the drive is used as master or slave on its connection cable.
  •      LATENCY (TIME) Definition given by Vincent BUREL :

    he latency time is the minimum time (generally the time of treatment) which separates the t0 time where the data (signal, sound...) are sent and the t0+dt time when these data are received (dt is the latency time). There exists no system with a null latency time.

    In the audionumerical case on PC, the latency time is generally not a dt (i.e. infinitely small). The latency time is generally of a few dozens of milliseconds, even hundreds. If Cubase or Wavelab or Whatever indicates a latency time of 500ms, that means that the bufferisation will be of 500ms, that is to say the sound will be sent or received by 500ms blocks. This implies that the modification time of a sound will happen in the next block, 500ms later. To sum up, the reaction time of the piece of software will be of 500ms.
  •      LOCAL CONTROL ON/OFFDefinition given by Denis VASSALLUC :

    The LOCAL OFF mode concerns every instrument which is a command system (keyboard, pad...) and a sound generator. It enables to divide these two functions: the keyboard goes on sending MIDI messages, the sound generator goes on receiving MIDI message from the outside, but the keyboard doesn't command the sound generator anymore. The LOCAL ON mode enables to establish the link back between the command system and the sound generator.
  •      LOOPDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    It is a sound sample which is repeated in loop, giving the impression it never stops. This technics is very much used in dance music and hip hop.
  •      MASTERDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    It designs two different things. On a mixing board, the master corresponds to the main section, i.e. the stereo out bus. And in a wider sense, it is also the corresponding fader. In the process of recording a CD, the master is the definitive recording of the project, which will be burn on a CD.
  •      MASTERINGDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Operation which consists in reducing a multi-tracks version mix to a stereo version. Next, it becomes definitive by applying equalization, and dynamic process (compressor, limiter...) to give it more punch. This operation is a crucial step in the making of a song. Mastering is even considered as art. Indeed, a mix can be destroyed by a bad mastering (too much compression for instance.
  •      MIDIDefinition given by Denis VASSALLUC :

    Musical Instrument Digital Interface. This interface has been made by Dave Smith, helped by Chet Wood, who were both working for Sequential Circuit.It is in fact an evolution of the Universal Synthesizer Interface (U.S.I.), also conceived by Dave Smith which built the first bases of the MIDI norm. The information from the outside are received by the MIDI INplug, and sent by the MIDI OUT plug. The MIDI thru plug restricts itself to sending back everything which arrives through the MIDI IN plug.
  •      MIXINGDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Essential operation in the making of a song. It consists in harmniously and artisticallay mixing the recorded audio signals, by modifying parameters such as level, pan, effects or timbre (with equalization).
  •      MONITORINGDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    It is an out on a mixing board, before the faders (and the effects). It is also called pre fader auxiliary. The sound which is entering a track can go out without being affected by the other elements which are sent to the main section. For example, the sound of a guitar enters the mixing board and goes out with reverb and eq through the main section. The Monitor signal corresponds to the sound of the guitar as it is when it enters the mixing board. We can do many things from that: taking the monitor signal in a second mixing board on the scene, another mix can be done for the stage monitors for example. In studio, the monitor out will be linked to headphones for a musician who is recording in overdub. It is, in a way, as the bypass of a multi-effect.
  •      MP3Definition given by Ceedjay :

    Compressed audio file format, which offers a correct compression / quality ratio (near CD for a compression ratio of 12:1). The process uses audio signal redundancy and the frequencies coverings to put off data.
  •      MUTEDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    It is a button on the mixing board thanks to which the signal sent to the main section and the auxiliary circuits (effects...) is cut. We can automate this button (on automated mixing board and sequencers' virtual mixers) to turn on or off tracks in a mixing, in an artistic way. This button also allows to lower the general noise level by turning off the unused tracks on an analog mixer. In short, we can do many things !
  •      N/A Definition given by Ceedjay :

    Abbreviation of Numerical Analog. It concerns every conversion from a numerical sound to an analog one.
  •      NON DESTRUCTIVEDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Said of every process which is undoable. For example, we are talking of non destructive audionumerical edition when the treatments apllied can be cancel as soon as the file has not been saved. As far as Direct-To-Disk is concerned, we are talking of non-destructve when the data which are recorded do not replace the existing ones.
  •      NUMERICALDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Said of an analog sound in computer language (0 and 1) after numerisation. The big difference compared to analog sound is that the possible values to represent it are not infinite, but fixed. During the numerisation, the converter takes "photos" of the sound, to fixed and close intervals. The qulity depends on two factors: the sample rate, which corresponds to the number of photos taken every second, and the resolution, which corresponds to the possible sharpness to reproduce each photo.
  •      PANDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    On a mixing board, this little button allows to "place" the sound of a track more or less to the left or right of the stereo image. It is essential during the mixing. This term also designs the action of slowly moving the sound from one side of the stereo field to the other (like a travelling in the cinema).
  •      PHRASINGDefinition given by Bertrand JAY :

    Warning, this is a personal definition! :)))). So the phrasing is when we begi to understand that music is a language (it took me 20 years :))) but I'm a bit stupid: ;)) So when we have heard enough and we understand what people are saying by playing, we understand the phrase, the most demonstrative music in this domain being of course the Bop (cf. J. Coltrane, Parker, Dizzy, Jarrett, Herbie etc.). The phrasing can be defined as "playing something which means something for yourself and the audience, taking into account the swing, the aesthetic, the passage of the phrase in the harmony, and the phrases invented by our Fathers! :)))). I know there evreryone won't agree... In short, I am not alone to think that in order to "phrase" coreectly, you have to heard a lot, and... appreciate... and collected... :))... It is like in society, for people who wants to go deeper... where there are things you mustn't say... or mustn't play! There are things I hear sometimes, well nobody plays that in this context... Why? Bicoz it's not nice! It's mean! So phrasing is also sort out and say "that, I don't want to play it again", "this phrase is ugly" etc...
  •      PITCH SHIFTINGDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    See the definition of "Transpose". Also designs the action to change the heigth of an audio sample, through an effect processor or in an audionumerical editor. We say we "pitch" a sound.
  •      PLUG-IN Definition given by Ceedjay :

    It is a little programm which works "on" a more consistent application (sequencer, audio treatment software...) to enrich its functions. We can find audio effects plug-ins, virtual instruments plug-ins, or virtual samplers. Plug-ins exist in several formats, the most common are VST (Steinberg) or DirectX (Windows). Most of the big sequencer or audio treatment software are compatible with several formats.
  •      PREDELAYDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Parameter which allows to introduce a little delay between the reception of the original sound and the sending of the affected sound. It is enormously used for the reverb effects. A little pre-delay enables to unstick a voice from its reverb, to make it more clear in the mix.
  •      PROGRAM CHANGEDefinition given by Denis VASSALLUC :

    A synthesizer has many different sounds in its memory (128, or 256...) and we assign a sound to a MIDI channel through a manipulation of the synthesizer. During this operation, the message Program Change is sent. On the reverse, this message enables to change the synth sounds or expander at distance.
  •      Q (Quality)Definition given by Ceedjay :

    In a parametric eq, this parameter correspond to the width of the frequency band around the central frequency affected by the eq. The more this parameter is high, the more the effect will be audible. If you want to cut a too present frequency and that you have to precisely target it you will use a very high Q factor. On the other hand, if you want to subtlely correct, you will use rather low Q factors.
  •      QUANTIZEDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    In a sequencer, it is an automatic process which enables to prop up the notes on the beats. Settings can be done for the result not to be too mechanical. Use with care and subtlety !
  •      RAMDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Corresponds to the read-write memory of a computer or numerical machine. Its main characteristics is that it empties when the machine is turned off. This memory is used to load data during their use as well as the open applications. We could use the computer HD, but the RAM is far more quick, especially in terms of data acces time (5 nanoseconds instead of 7-8 milliseconds). The more a machine has RAM, the better its performance will be. There are many kinds of RAM, but the most use are the SD-Ram and the DDR SD-Ram (twice more data transfered compared to the SD-Ram).
  •      RESOLUTIONDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    During the digitalization of a sound, the resolution corresponds to the maximal number of values than can be taken by a sample (one of the 44100 samples taken each second by the converter for a CD quality sample rate). The resolution is expressed in bits per sample. A bit can take two values: 0 or 1. If the sound is coded on 8 bits, we will have 256 possible values (2^8). On 16 bits, we will have 65536 (2^16). On 24 bits, we will have 16777216 values. Enlarge the resolution will allow a larger dynamic range.
  •      REVERBERATIONDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    It is a very used effect which reproduce the multiple reflection of a sound on the walls of a room. We can play on factors such as the type of surface of the walls, the size of the room, its height, the absorbed frequencies... This effect surrounds the sound by an acoustic blurring and makes it live.
  •      RIFFDefinition given by Pascal VALENTIN :

    Generally associated with the guitar, rather rock, the riff is a rhythmic pattern characteristic of a omposition. An famous example would be Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water which every guitaris learnt to play on a single string with one finger. It's tain - tain - tain, tain-tain, taintain ! Can be applied to Brass... I'm clear, ain't I? ;-o))
    It is also, in the tradition of Big Bands, a repetitive pattern (generally played by the brass) which don't take into account the chords change of the rest of the orchestra. We can find these riffs as accompaniment pattern during a theme, but the riff can sometimes be the theme (I don't have any example in mind, but I think that Bag's Groove is one). Régis LAMORA
    Melody, musical phrase. We can find riffs anywhere in the songs, for example guitar riffs behind the voice in the verse, or riffs put "in front" in breaks. The riff is to the music what the potatoe was for our ancesters: not very original, but necessary to survive... Arnaud LE BOULANGER
  •      SAMPLEDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Sound obtained after the transfer from an analog signal to a numerical one, by a machine such as a sampler or a computer. If you record a bass drum kick on your hard drive through your soundcard, you will obtain a sample of bass drum. At the moment of the signal conversion, the sample also designs the smallest part of the analog sound that can be caught by the converter. It is, in a way, a photo of the analog sound taken off and on by the converter. For example, a sample with a definition of 44.1kHz contains 44100 sound samples per second.... well... do you follow me ? ;o)
  •      SAMPLINGDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Recording a sample of sound, most of the time by digitalizing an analog sound. We can then use this sample in a numerical machine such as a smapler or in a computer musical piece of software. The sampling of sounds produced by a real piano enables to play the piano through a keyboard and a piece of software or a sampler. No need to have a real piano !
  •      SATURATIONDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Sound deformation in a machine. This distortion is due to a too high gain, or to a too high in level which cannot be faithfully reproduced. This effect can be artistically used, especially on electric guitar and certain drums sounds. A little saturation can be agreeable on an analog signal, because it gives some warmth. But this phenomenon has to be avoided on a digital signal, because there is a risk of digital clipping.
  •      SHUFFLEDefinition given by Arnaud LE BOULANGER :

    It is a syncopated rhythm where the second and fourth beats of the measure are late compared to a precise tempo, which makes him look like a good old "blues" (from where it comes from). A good example of shuffle: Steevie Ray Vaughan "Life by the Drop" and The Rolling Stones "Harlem Shuffle".
    It is also the way to define a 4beats measure where the semiquaver is "swinged", that is to say instead of playing regular semiquaver, we will play a quaver and a semiquaver in triolet (16T in a sequencer ;o). So it is ternary for the semiquavers, even if the measure is 4/4 with very binary quavers. Example: John Scofield "Blue Matter", Chick Corea "Beneath the Mask", Ron Thal "Fever. Example in a 3 beats measure: Richard Galliano "Waltz for Nicky". Régis LAMORA
  •      SOLODefinition given by Ceedjay :

    On a mixing board, it is a button made to mute all the tracks except the one for which the button is pushed. Very useful to listen to a single track.
    Well... I don't agree Ceedjay ! Solo is the moment where the female elements of the audience pounce on the guitarist ! Right? Pascal VALENTIN
  •      SOUNDFONTDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Sample banks format created by E-MU for the Sound Blaster soundcards. This format allows to load sound baks in the central memory of the computer in order to play them as sounds of an expander or sampler. It is a cheap way of doing sampling, as we can record any sound and play it through MIDI in a sequencer. This format has become a standard, and many virtual sampling software can use it (Gigasampler, Halion, Kontakt...) as we can find hundreds of free sound banks on the Internet.
  •      SYSEXDefinition given by Philippe HELLOUIN :

    System Exclusive Message: message made to set the internal parameters of MIDI machines, when these parameters are not forseen int the MIDI norms. These messages sart with the identification of the factory, then the one of the machine. In Cubase, we can use them in different windows: the list editor, the midi mixer or the studio module. All these parameters are indicated in the machines documentation. It is in fact the machine language.
  •      TDHDefinition given by Arnaud LE BOULANGER :

    Well, we will try to do it easy. No machine through which an audio signal passes (analog as an amplifier, or digital, or whatever) PERFECTLY releases what it is given. It can happen many phenomenom. We cannot list them all, but, for example, one of them is the frequencies response (which are not released with a constant gain). Another one is the harmonic distortion. What is it? If you give it a sinusoid (the purest sound), well it doesn't release an perfect sinusoid, and the sound is not exactly as pure as before. Actually, it added frequencies (harmonics) which were not in the original sound. If we look at the graph of the sound on an oscilloscope, it lose its original form. Maybe it is a little too sharp, a little too plane, or with bents which are not really symetrical, in short it has been distorted. It is the harmonic distortion: you give it a flute, it releases a thing between oboe and violin (no, I'am going too far ;o). A priori, except in the effects where this distortion is wanted, we don't really like distortion ( we want the machine to treat the signal, not to distort it in a way different from the one it has been made for). The harmonic distortion amount measures this propenity to distort what it has not been asked to distort. The lower the better.
  •      THRESHOLDDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    On some effects (as compressor and noise gates especially), it is a hinge level above or under which the effect applies. If we choose -2dB for a compressor, all that is above -2dB will be compressed. We can choose a threshold for the release or the engage of the effect.
  •      VELOCITYDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    As far as MIDI is concerned, it is the strength with which we play on a keyboard and which has repercussions on the "strength" of the note which is released. This parameter allows to play stresses and nuances.
  •      WAVEDefinition given by Ceedjay :

    Audionumerical sound file format, used on the Windows platforms. Its suffixe is .wav, and it is not compressed (contrary to the MP3 format).
  •      XLR (eXternal mass Live Return) Definition given by Ceedjay :

    Professional connector, with three points: an earth, a cold and a warm points. The signal is said symetrical. This type of connection ennables to easily suppress interferences, and to use longer cables than with an non-symetrical signal.

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